On my birthday two days ago, a good friend of mine sent me a greeting and wrote that it seemed very fitting that I was celebrating my day in Canada on the verge of a new adventure in my life. And I guess she is right…I have been one for taking the traditional route in life. I moved out of my parent’s house when I was 19 – and moved to London. I did course that required two internships abroad, so off I went to Sydney and London again. I pursued my dream of working in the car industry, I moved to a small island and learned how to smoke fish and now I sit in the home of my Camino friend’s house in Victoria, BC.
Der er under en uge til, jeg flyver til Canada. Det føles helt vildt, men også helt rigtigt. Det er 20 år siden, jeg sidst boede i udlandet. Dengang var det Sydney, Australien, der stod på billetten. Det var en kæmpe oplevelse dengang…og lidt skræmmende, for der er langt hjem til DK, når man kun er 20 år og sidder på den anden side af jordkloden. Men dengang mødte jeg fantastiske mennesker, der gjorde min tid dernede magisk, og jeg er sikker på, at min tur til Canada også bliver fyldt med nye skønne oplevelser og mennesker. Jeg flyver til Victoria, hvor jeg skal besøge Gail, jeg mødte første gang, jeg stiftede bekendtskab med Camino Frances.
Faktisk mødtes Gail og jeg sidste år i Seattle i januar, og jeg ser frem til at se hendes by denne gang. Jeg får også mulighed for at mødes med Stuart – endnu en Camino buddy fra min tur sidste år. Der bliver helt sikkert delt Camino historier, når vi alle tre mødes. Faktisk har de lovet at hjælpe mig med at fejre min 40 års fødselsdag, når den rammer d. 27/2.
De seneste tre uger, jeg har boet i Vestjylland. Det er altid rart at komme hjem og lade op ved den jyske vestkyst. At blive blæst igennem og nyde den smukke kystlinje vil altid betyde ro i sind og sjæl for mig.
Der foregår også en del fysiske forberedelser. Jeg har kastet mig over at genoplive en gammel oilskins jakke til min tur. For hvor svært kan det være? Som billedet viser indkøber man voks, der så smeltes langsomt over vandbad til formålet. Den del af processen er temmelig overkommelig. Jeg havde godt læst, at det kan være en omstændelig opgave at vokse en jakke, men som altid tænkte jeg…hvor svært kan det være?
Sådan en jakke kan vel lige ordnes på en formiddag eller? Det er faktisk ikke fordi selve det at vokse er svært, men det tager væsentlig længere tid, end jeg havde forventet. Jeg har taget et lille nap hver dag, og projektet skrider da også frem, som I kan se:
Jeg skal nok blive færdig til afrejse på tirsdag, og hver gang jeg ifører mig jakken, vil jeg glæde mig over al det arbejde, jeg har lagt i den. Men når min Barbour oilskins jakke trænger til en opfriskning, er jeg næsten sikker på, at jeg vil benytte mig af Barbour’s serviceafdeling, og lade dem klare opgaven.
Jeg har brugt aftenerne i Vejers på at genopfriske mine evner til at strikke. Mest fordi jeg forestiller mig, at jeg får en del aftener på min rejse, hvor jeg ikke har adgang til tv, andre mennesker til en snak eller en god bog, og at strikke skulle jo være sundt, så jeg har allerede fabrikeret en karklud. Naturligvis er der indkøbt strikkepinde af træ, så jeg ikke bliver stoppet i sikkerhedskontrollen på vej ombord! Det føles nemlig rart at producere noget, istedet for bare at sidde og se ud i luften.
Jeg slutter dagens indlæg med et billede taget i går morges på terrassen her i Vejers. Billedet viser desværre ikke helt de mange “diamanter” frosten havde skabt i løbet af natten, der glimtede om kap i morgensolen. Men jeg fik fornøjelsen af dette smukke syn, og tager det med mig som et håb om, at min forestående rejse vil blive fyldt med strålende, smukke og givende oplevelser. Nyd dagen og nuet!
A few of you have been asking about my plans for the future, and I am finally ready to share it with you. Since I got back from Spain and the Camino Frances, I have been very sure that my time in the big city is coming to an end. I miss the country side, the quiet and closeness to nature. I have been pouring over travel and nature pictures on Instagram and dreaming myself away almost every day.
Life waits for no one, so on the 21st of February I will be boarding a plane for Canada.
I will start by visiting my Camino friends Gail and Stuart in Victoria to catch up, get to know their beautiful city and if the weather allows it, maybe do a hike with them. They will be my base during my travels in this beautiful country, where I hope to see some of the places I been pining for for so long.
I bought new walking shoes and they are aching to take me new places and show me new views. I have never done camping or outdoor living. My mother hated it, so we always stayed at hotels or beach houses. Maybe because I have never tried it, it has an allure to me, and I hope to get the chance to get a taste of the great outdoors during my Canadian adventure.
Another theme I have been pouring over online, is Tiny House living. Canada and USA are currently really expanding on this lifestyle, and I will be looking for ideas and trying to get a feel for this way of living while I am there.
Organic food…Well, you know I love it, and luckily some parts of Canada is really embracing sustainable, organic produce. I will attempt to taste my way through it all and pick up as much knowledge as possible.
So, my friends, for the coming future you can find me in Canada. I will try to share the experience as I explore, enjoy and breathe in as much a possible while I’m there, but with such a vast country, there will be areas without mobile connection and internet. I actually look forward to just being in the moment and living life to the max.
See you on the flip side…
In January I had the most amazing holiday in the US. I reconnected with an old school friend I had not seen in 20 years, and Nina welcomed me into her home, her family and showed me the best of San Francisco, Petaluma and Napa Valley during my stay there. After having seen The Golden Gate Bridge in movies so many times, it seemed almost unreal being right there next to it. It was a fantastic way to commence my adventures of 2017. Thank you, Nina, for your ever open personality!
I met up with Camino family and friends in Seattle. The Camino is some of the most rewarding experiences of my life due to the friendships I have gained there. Seattle grew on me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Scandinavian feel the city and the surrounding areas has. Thank you Gail, Derry & Jim for showing me around and taking time to see me.
Patrick showed me the best of Austin. From live music to BBQ and cowboy boots. It was such a treat to spend time with more Camino family and do a hike near Lady Bird lake. Austin is so very different from the other places I visited, but so very vibrant and alive. Thank you, Patrick, for that rewarding experience.
I got back to my dad’s beach house at Henne Strand and the search for a job began. Luckily my childhood friend, Nette has the touch when it comes to helping others, and she found me a job in Horsens, so in March I began working at Landmad. I love the concept behind Landmad – Danish, local produce for sale at city center combined with a café offering rustic, clean food. It was such an adventure taking part of opening the shop in Horsens. Thank you, Heidi, for giving me the opportunity and for respecting my need to move on. I wish the absolute best for your shops!
That period also marked my farewell to my precious dog, Elly. I knew I was moving to Copenhagen, and since Elly is a country dog, I took the difficult decision to let her go. It was such a hard thing to do, and thinking about it, still brings tears to my eyes. Elly is an amazing dog, and she deserves the best life possible, so being back on Tunoe is an infinite better solution than going to the big city with me. Elly is forever in my heart.
April returned me to Copenhagen. Mette and Thomas kindly opened their home to me, and I returned to Nansensgade, where I years earlier owned my own apartment. It felt good to be back on familiar grounds, and once again Nette found me a job. I can only advice you all to get a “Nette”. My friend, Nette, is the most unselfish, giving and loving person I know, and I feel incredibly thankful to have her in my life. I love you, Nette, and am proud to call you my friend. Being back in Copenhagen also provided me with the opportunity to reconnect with many of my friends. I have had a great time this summer hanging out with you all and experiencing the city and what it had to offer.
I started working at DARE2 in June. What a difference from all the previous jobs I’ve had. Entering into this creative, energetic and vibrant atmosphere full of entrepreneurs, go-getters and inspiring people gave me a real kick. Meeting these driven souls made me think about what I really want out of life. Thank you, Laila & Kris for giving me a chance and supporting my dream chase. I will keep following your endeavours. You never know if our paths may cross again. A big thanks to all the lovely people, I got to meet while at DARE2. I’m sure I have made lasting friendships, and you all have my full support in achieving your dreams.
In October I said goodbye to DARE2 and went of to Spain to walk more of the Camino Frances. I took up where I left of in Burgos, but already in Madrid I met my first new Camino buddy – Maria Grazia. The Camino surely provides. It was physically hard, since I had not had time to train before going, but a new back pack with more focused content made for a much easier time. The Meseta was like being home in flat Denmark, but the views breathtaking and once again I was met by loving, positive and happy people. Maria Grazia and Gary became my new Camino family. Thank you to both of you. I look forward to meeting up with you again in future. But also big thanks to all the other amazing people, who crossed my way – I’m struggling if I should mention your names, since I’m scared of forgetting anyone. In case you feel left out, please put it down to my forgetful memory and not my appreciative heart. Thank you, Juan, Stuart, Martina, Paul, Bernice, Lukas, Pablo, Magdalena, Jenna, Kyra and Boromir. Even though I got of the Camino in León, I followed you online walking into Santiago, and I am proud to have walked with everyone of you.
I’ve spent the rest of the year figuring out a plan for 2017 and making the required changes. I hope to soon be able to share the plans with you, but in order not to jinx it, I will hold off until the details are settled. But be certain it will put me on the path towards my dream. I will no longer just react to what life throws at me. I will go out and attempt to make my dreams come true.
2016 has given me so much. My word for this year is without a doubt friendship – old and new. Thank you, Katja, Ole, Yana, Mette, Thomas, Lykke, Gitte, Keld, Iben, Nette, Kirstine, Susanne, Pernille, Henrik, Vivi, Kristian and everyone I may right now have forgotten, but am thankful for non the less. As the sun sets on 2016, allow me to leave you with this:
Efter at have bøvlet lidt med hvad der er kendt som “re-entry” fra Caminoen…altså returnering til det liv, man forlod, som denne gang både var fysisk i form af forkølelse og pandehulebetændelse og psykisk i form af alle de tanker, der myldrer frem, når man står ansigt til ansigt med hverdagen igen.
Jeg har gået på Caminoen og udnyttet, at der er højt til loftet, så tanker og drømme har fået frit spil, som I måske har læst i mine tidligere indlæg. Noget af det vigtiste for mig fremadrettet, er at komme ud af trædemøllen. Jeg vil have et job, der gør mig glad, giver mig energi og udfordrer mig til at blive den bedste version af mig hver dag. Det lyder højt og flot, men jeg har gjort klar til det i noget tid, da jeg har fået betalt al min gæld ud, så jeg ikke længere SKAL tage et specifikt job pga økonomi. Jeg har minimeret mine ejendele, så jeg ikke er så bundet af materielle pladskrav og er mere mobil i verden. Men hvad er det så jeg vil?
Der er mange negative tanker knyttet til Tunø, men der er også rigtig mange gode og dejlige tanker stadigvæk. Særligt naturen, højt til loftet og behovet for kreativitet, når man bor udenfor lands lov og ret er noget af det, jeg savner. Jo, og så naturligvis de fantastiske mennesker, jeg lærte at kende, da jeg boede på øen, men de kontakter har jeg fastholdt.
Jeg vil gerne prøve at finde nogle af de positive ting fra Tunø igen – blot et andet sted. Heldigvis er verden fyldt med dejlige steder med smuk natur. På sigt vil jeg gerne have mit eget sted, hvor jeg kan lave en form for egenproduktion, gårdbutik, gårdcafé eller lignende. Jeg kan røge fisk, lave cremer og mange andre ting, men jeg synes dog stadig, at jeg mangler den grundliggende viden til at kunne have et lille landsted. Jeg ved ikke noget om dyrehold, dyrkning af grøntsager og bæredygtig livsstil….ihvertfald ikke mere end de fleste andre, og det kan blive dyre lærepenge, hvis jeg bare kaster mig hovedkulds ud i det.
De af jer, der kender mig, ved at jeg godt kan være impulsiv, men at jeg som oftes har en plan. Min plan er derfor nu at finde et job ved et bæredygtigt, økologisk landbrug, så jeg kan lære de ting, jeg ikke ved. Jeg ønsker ikke stordrift. Jeg ønsker et sted med respekt for natur og dyr, jeg kan leve af. Ikke noget der skal blive en stor og opslugende forretning. Jo, det må da gerne gå godt, men det skal bare løbe rundt, og ikke løbe rundt med mig.
Jeg søger primært i udlandet, da det efterhånden snart er 20 år siden jeg boede udenlands, og det trækker i mig igen. Danmark er et skønt land, men sommetider er det godt at se hvad der er på den anden side af hækken, så man kan værdsætte, hvad man har. Måske det er Camino-eventyrene, der får mig til at hungre efter mere…hvem ved? Hvis I kender et sted, hvor mine evner kan bruges, og jeg samtidig kan lære nyt, så skriv til mig, så jeg kan undersøge det.
One of my favorite benefits on The Camino is that you can eat and drink as you like, because you burn so many calories every day you walk. Not that I ever would count calories, but I thouroughly enjoy good food, and after leaving Bercianos del Real Camino, we stopped for a second breakfast of 100% protein – bacon and eggs. It tasted amazing and fueled our bodies for that day’s walk. For exactly the food and drink reason I consider doing the Via Francigena that runs from Canterbury to Rome. Imagine walking through Piemonte….oh boy what a feast!
As we were getting closer and closer to León, I struggled with the decision about where to end this year’s walk. I had time to go beyond León, but would it make sense logistically? Walking and talking with my friend Gary made it clear – I would get off The Camino in León and limit this year’s walk to the Meseta, leaving the remaining roughly 310km to Santiago for next year. Everyone has their own way of doing the Camino. Many goes all the way in one stint, but I am really starting to appreciate my approach of cutting it in three, since I that way get to meet three times the people, that I maybe would have in one stint. For me, the amazing people I meet, are very much part of my personal journey, and I value the friendships I gain highly.
This picture was taken by the hospitalieri in Mansilla de las Mulas, where these fine pilgrims came together to make a fantastic meal of salad, lentil soup with rice, ice cream dessert and all served up with fresh made sangria. At this table sat most of the pilgrims that I was fortunate enough to meet this year. They all made a big impression on me, and I look forward to meeting them again in future as I have with some of the lovely people I met last time. Thank you all for making my Camino some of the best times ever!
And now for the fun story of the evening. The hospitalieri at the albergue was an assertive young woman, who not only was a great host, but also had taken courses in taking care of the foot injuries pilgrims suffer. That day had been very hot – 25-30 degrees, and since my thin socks were not dry from yesterday’s washing, I was wearing my thick wollen socks, which meant I had more or less boiled my feet during the walk, resulting in heat blisters. The hospitalieri offered to have a look, and then this happened:
We all loved her sense of humour! Once the laughter had died, she took me into her office and very professionally took care of my feet, making next day’s walk into León a breeze.
Many guidebooks and apps suggest that you bus into León because the way should be very industrial and along the highway. Actually I’m glad we decided to walk. It was almost a magic morning and I loved this last walk on my 2016 Camino.
I entered León with my new Camino family – Maria Grazia and Gary, and along the route Pablo had joined our little band into town. It felt amazing walking these streets, knowing that 177km of Meseta was in my backpack. Of course we ran into fellow pilgrims right in center of city and sat down with them to enjoy a pilgrim lunch complete with wine and good company right by the cathedral.
We had decided to stay an extra night in León, so we settled in and prepared for a night out. I must admit it was my first time going out wearing fleece leggings, hiking shoes and no make-up. Not exactly a dazzling look, but who cared? We had our fun any way. Thank you, Patrick, for the insider tip on Four Lions Brewery. Great craft beer!
We had fun, beaches!
Next day I set out to get my bus ticket to Madrid, some civilian clothes and a sence of the city. Gary decided to walk on and we said our goodbyes at the cathedral. Later Maria Grazia and I went exploring and stumbled into The Parador – the five star hotel known from the movie The Way. It felt so perfect to sit on their patio with a cool drink. Thank you for the tip, Pablo!
Next morning Maria Grazia and I walked to the cathedral together. We met in Madrid and now our ways were parting – me back to Madrid to fly home and Maria Grazia was staying on the Camino. It was bittersweet, but I know I have made a friend for life
We spotted a hot air ballon making it’s way over León in the sunrise. It seemed very fitting to part ways with that sight.
I had time before my bus, so I got a table at Valor, the chocolateria, and ordered churros. Again it seemed the perfect way to end my visit in this lovely city and to take stock of my camino. My credential is not completely full, but I need to get a new one for the final stretch to Santiago next year. I can’t wait to go back and hopefully meet up with old camino buddies, Helen and Paul from Australia. See you guys down there!
Thank you for following my way on the Camino. Now comes the hard part – re-entry and finding my way in life. I look forward to meeting life head on and with positivity in my heart.
Do we notice the small, simple things in life as we rush along in our busy lives? I guess we often tend not to unfortunately. During my time on the Camino, I have tried to take notice of my surrounding, the people I meet and to remember to sometimes turn around and see what I just passed. It makes a world of difference, my friends
After having spent a night in Lédigos, being treated to dinner by a Swiss gentleman and overhearing a nightly argument between a French lady and a Korean man about usage of electronic devices after 23.00, I set out to catch up with my new Camino family, Maria Grazie and Gary – a friendly soul from Utah, that we met in Hontanas.
As mentioned I had been struggling with my feet. Probably due to the fact that my shoes and boots already had many kilometers in them and needed changing, so I for the first time sent my pack ahead at the mere cost of 5€, but at the joy of my feet, since they loved not carrying the burden. My mood immediately picked up, and I felt elated and happy to be able to once again have the energy to be in the moment. Such pretty sights that morning.
I caught up with my family just before Sahagún at the halfway point, and we entered the city together in search of lunch and new shoes for me.
We indeed found both! We happened to wander into a restaurant at Plaza Mayor with the most service-minded Spanish waiter. He performed Charades in order to describe the pilgrim menu of the day and just went out of his way for us. While we were eating the first course fellow pilgrims – Bernice, Martina and Paul joined our little feast and we had the most delightful lunch together.
With very full bellies and new shoes on my feet (I threw away my old boots and shoes…oh my), we went back to the trail in search of Bercianos del Real Camino. Did I tell you that after a few days of rain and cold, the weather had done a complete turnaround and we were now walking in 25-30 degrees? Not at all what I had expected in October, but it was a nice surprice.
In Bercianos del Real Camino we stayed at the parroquial albergue. It was very modest, no wi-fi, but full of caring hospitalieros, who cooked us dinner and afterwards asked us to perform a song or poem from our home country. Many countries were represented, but I was the only Dane, so they suffered through hearing me sing my home town song – Henne sangen, and afterwards I made a complete mess of our national anthem. Funny how it is easy to sing at the top of your lungs at a sports game, but it become impossible to carry a tune once you have to sing it alone in front of 30 people. I’m glad, I never have to do a solo performance at a stadium and so should your ears be!
The last couple of days have been hard on my body. Since I went as a spur of the moment thing, I did not train like last time, and my body has been punishing me ever since. Like DOMS the second day after training is always the hardest, so Friday was complete torture. An excercise in self-diciplin to keep walking…especially the last 9km. But with a determined mind and singing Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” I finished in Boadilla del Camino in Albergue en El Camino, which I can highly recommend.
Maria Grazia and I walked together yesterday. She was patient with me and my sore feet, and she even cooked us pasta last night. Let me make it clear – The Camino provides.
During our walk we talked extensively about work culture, expectations and as I call it the hamster wheel. So many people get caught up in the hamster wheel, because breaking away seems difficult and scary. Too many people I know or have met randomly tell me that they hold jobs they basically do not enjoy, but their problem is that they don’t know what they want to do instead, so they just stay. I fully understand them, but isn’t it concerning that many people are unhappy with their job, and think they should be doing something else?
I listenend to myself and choose to leave DARE2, because I no longer feel happy servicing others…I’m not sure I have more to give after spending the better part of my career working in customer service, admin or as PA. I know I’m good at it, but it does not make me happy, so what is the point? I like so many others do not have a clear picture of what I want to do instead, but I’m also questioning if the big city is the right place for me? I love having nature right outside my doorstep, I prefer to eat organic, sustainable food and I continually attempt to minimize my possesions. Somewhere along that route of thought lies the solution for my future. I do not yet know where it will take me and what I will do, but I do know that I will not get back on the hamster wheel.
First off…since the main language among internationals on the Camino Frances is English, I have decided that most of my blogs from down here will be in English as well.
At the bus station in Madrid I met a fellow peregrino, Maria Grazia from Rome. We joined forces and took the bus together to Burgos exchanging stories along the way. I start in Burgos, because I previously did St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos, but that is a story for another day, my friends.
It felt absolutely fantastic returning to Burgos. Like visiting an old friend or returning home after a long journey away. Strange when my journey is just again beginning, but that is what it felt like…a home coming of sorts. After a big lunch, Maria Grazia and I donned our packs and hit the trail. Out of Burgos we hit what is known as the Meseta. For me another homecoming since it is the wide, flat countryside like we see in Denmark. Getting started was a little hard on my body, but we were wise and stopped already in Tradajos after just 12,2km.
Having the “tradional” post-walk refreshment at a local bar last night, felt amazing and my thoughts immediately went to my old Camino family and the fantastic people I met on my last journey. If any of you follow this blog, please know that you are all with me in my heart this time around. The Camino world is a special community even though everyone’s Camino is their own. It is sort of like being in a healthy kind of AA – no offence meant, but only people who have walked a Camino knows what it means. Læs mere The Meseta – returning to the Camino
As some of you may know, I lost my relationship, my home and job i August 2015 due to infidelity. I’ve heard it said that if you loose two of those three main parameters in your life, it put you under severe pressure. Should you loose all three parameters simultaniously it can reck havoc on your mental state.
Last year when all this happened, and I was thrown into a sea of uncertainty, the only remedy that had an effect was walking. I hiked the west coast of Jutland hoping to find peace, understanding and my identity. Cause who was I without relationship, home and job? It was a terrible time in my life, but at least it made me fit.
As I walked I slowly improved, and learned to be vocal about my feelings and began to deal with it all. It was not a nice time for me, but I learned a lot through it all. Where would my future take me? Would I ever be able to trust another man again? What would I do with my life, now that I wouldn’t be smoking fish? It seemed to me there where more questions than answers, but with the support of my friends I began to make progress.
In April 2016 I returned to Copenhagen. It felt good to be back and to discover that the friends I had left behind four years ago, were still there to welcome me back. It meant the world to me and I spent the summer rediscovering the city and looking for work. I got a job as PA at DARE2 – an exciting position in an unknown world. The startup world is a constant source of energy, people work to the bone to push their idea, and the positve and colorful atmosphere really made an impact. It has even reinforced my belief in my own little production of beauty products.
Let me return to my starting point….when your whole life is taken from you, it scars you as it did me. It is not something you just bounce back from easily. It take time to reconnect with yourself and search out a new path. Eventhough I have enjoyed my time with DARE2, the job and not at least the amazing colleagues, something has not felt right inside. Stress is showing it ugly face, and I have finally leaned to react when I sense it. Yesterday was the last day at the office for me. I leave DARE2 as friends and without any burned bridges. I am very touched by their understanding and compassion.
My dad’s recent illness has also made a huge impact on me. He was diagnosed with Myelomatosis in August and has been going through treatments since, and luckly he seems to be responding well to the chemo. However the fact that my mom passed away exactly seven years ago due to cancer, does get your thoughts going when your only remaining parent is hit with the big C. I will be the first to admit that I have struggled dealing with the situation and seeing him sick and frail.
So now what? Well, I’m currently writing this onboard an airplane to Madrid. I have donned my hiking boots, packed my backpack and plan to walk the Camino Frances starting in Burgos. I need to go away for awhile and walk, simply because I know it works for me. I expect to be gone around two weeks, and I will attempt to keep you in the loop – not only about my pilgrimage but also to attempt to share the many thoughts I know will arise.